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I don’t care too much for eyeballs, eyeballs can’t buy me love

26 Nov 2007
by Alex Hillman

I have no idea when I took such a strong liking to marketing, or markets, or strategy…but it’s been on my mind a lot recently so you can expect lots of stuff in this tone to come…I hope, anyway.

IndyHall member Dave Speers passed over the following excerpt from post he read:

“An online publisher shared with me an RFP that he had received. The advertiser wanted to know how many impressions they could get for a million dollars.

The publisher looked at me and said, “See, they still aren’t getting it, are they?” When I asked what he meant by that, he said, “Broadband isn’t about building reach. It’s about building relationships. Broadcast is all about how many saw the advertising. Broadband is all about how much time they spend with the advertising.

“What advertisers should be asking is not how many impressions they can get for $1 million, but how much involvement they can get for that amount.”

“And you can tell them how involved viewers were in their advertising?” I asked.

“Absolutely,” he said.”

The article goes on to calculate some of the costs and metrics. It estimated 47 hours of customer engagement for a video spot that cost $3000 to produce. Using those metrics, you get a lot more bang for your buck when you’re talking about engagement (also read, time that the customer ISNT looking at your competition’s brand).

The one missing part of the equation/discussion is energy over time.

If you look at most advertising campaigns, the ones coming to the game with the mindset of “massive numbers of eyeballs in the shortest period of time”. When you’re measuring engagement, you need to factor in more time. “Engagement marketing”, or whatever you care to call it, isn’t for short timeline projects. Consider the time frame that a “traditional” marketer would normally spend pushing their content to a 1,000,000 people on days one and two, only to have 4 people look at on days three and four. From there on out, you’re always playing catch-up, trying to come even close to the numbers the first time around. In most cases of “viral”, interest dies off. Any fish you caught in the net are either eaten or tossed back, and you need to expend the full amount of energy for the second round of the campaign.

In that same timeframe, the engagement marketer would be out talking to 5 people one day, 10 people the next…with the intent to make a lasting impression and turn the 15 people into marketers themselves. Ultimately, the people you are marketing to in one of these relationship-building style campaigns should become your street team. Your energy devoted to finding good seeds to that street team lead you to be able to utilize them as an extension of, or an amplifier for, any energy you devote in subsequent rounds of marketing.

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Alex Hillman I am always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust and business. I founded Indy Hall in 2006, making us one of oldest fully independent coworking communities in the world. This site is packed with the lessons and examples I’ve learned along the way. You can find me on Twitter, too! 🐦 Say hi.